Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home

In a rare few moments of quiet this morning (the boys were already strapped into their car seats in the van) Joe and I sat down at our kitchen table (well, Joe sat, I was filling up my travel coffee mug) to write out our first mortgage payment. 


There have been several oh-my-goodness-we-are-homeowners moments in the last 33 days since we closed on our first house. But this moment quite possibly tops them all. 


Naturally, signing the papers and getting the keys were BIG moments, too.

Getting the long-awaited keys on Oct. 14, 2010
So was pulling into the driveway of 1579 Haven Hills Rd. for the first time after closing. 

I'll never forget when Joe carried me over the threshold.  (Yes.  I'm serious.  It doesn't matter that I forced him to do it, does it?  I figured he had to make up for not doing it after our wedding.)

Baking my first lasagna was memorable. 

And so was making our first fire in the fireplace.  

Of course we still have a lot of work to do to make this house, our first house, feel homey.  As you will see, it is still quite bare, and very white.  I have not painted or hung pictures.  I have boxes yet to unpack.  And the house is so much bigger than any other place we've lived, we still have furniture to buy. 

Our new house has two living rooms, not just one.  

One is furnished.

Christian playing his new Cars video game in our "media room."

The other is not. 

It also has two full bathrooms. 

The boys'/guest bathroom

Mommy and Daddy's bathroom - finally, some privacy!

And I am happy to report, three bedrooms.  The boys have their own rooms!  Not that it matters much anymore, since Henry, at 2 1/2, is now on the same schedule as his big brother, and will soon be moving into the big boy bed in Christian's room. 

I suppose that's okay. Then we can use Henry's room as a guest room.  For all of the guests we are going to have ... Hint, hint.    

We are just glad Henry's not sleeping in our room anymore. 

Our new home is just under 2,000 square feet.  I think our last place was 1,100.   But it wasn't until we moved in all of our furniture, and every last piece of every last thing we own -- and the house still felt empty -- that we knew how much bigger it really was. 

It still echoes.

(I know.  This is where rugs and curtains would help. I'm working on that. Please try to think of these photos as the "Before" pictures in a "Before and After" montage.  I promise to post "After" pics, too.) 

But we are thankful for the house -- empty space, echoes and all.  Last year at this time, Joe was in his final semester of his master's program at the University of Tennessee at Martin and our future was give-you-ulcers-in your-stomach uncertain.  For the last seven years we had scraped by on part-time jobs while working to complete degrees and caring for our two babies.  To give you an idea, I have been reading the devotional "Streams in the Desert" for the last three years. 

We knew Joe would be employed through August, but after that we had nothing.  NOTHING. No job, and especially not a house.  Then, on the last day of the summer baseball season, Joe received two full-time job offers.  The prayer of our entire married life was answered in one daythe last day.  Twice.

True story.

We chose the job that was furthest from family and paid the least. Obviously.  (No really, we did.  But that is another blog post for another day.)  Two weeks later we arrived in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. 

When we prayed all those years for a full-time job for Joe, I never imagined it would be here.  (Surprising, eh?)  And it was hardly what I'd asked for.  More like, exactly the opposite.   I had prayed that Joe's next job would bring us to the coast (we are in the middle of the country), to a city (we are three hours away from Memphis and St. Louis), and to a university where I could get my master's degree (we are at a junior college).   

But when we found this one-story, all-brick ranch just a few weeks into our house search, I started to see how Poplar Bluff, in some small way, could become "More than all we ask or imagine."
All the times of doubt, hours spent complaining about our situation, or worrying about our future, now nagged at me across each gorgeous square foot of the house -- the gleaming honey-toned wood floors, the new mini-shag carpet, the floor-to-ceiling windows, the huge closets with built-in shelves, the new nickel-colored faucets, shower heads, door handles and light fixtures, the red front door with the stained-glass insert, the mature trees surrounding the lot, the established neighborhood.  I could go on, but I won't. 

God's ways are often (always?) mysterious, but this much I have discerned, this little house on Haven Hills is truly a haven. A beautiful shelter for me in a place I never thought I wanted to be.

I love our house.  

I don't deserve our house.

And this moment, sitting down to write out our first check to the bank, it all comes into focus again.  Our Lord's faithfulness, despite ourselves. 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)


  1. Thanks for posting this and sharing Heather, The Reddy Family does miss y'all around here. Youth group is different but it will never be the same without you guys. Its amazing how far you've come from when Joe and I would visit your apartment for small group. Looking at the photos really inspired me to think about how many blessing God has for all of us and how He is always one step ahead of us with a plan! Take care and say hi to Joe for me. Blessings, Alex Reddy

  2. loooooooooove the house!! and, tell henry he better move on over to the big boy room, because we want to come visit! :)

  3. LOVE the pictures!!!! I am starting to get a better understanding of the layout! And I LOVE your dining room table!! It is soooo nice and looks great with all your stuff!! The great room is the only room that looks "bare" and it will get there.(just throw some toys around and it will look homey ;)) Excited for you to get those curtains, though! Thanks for posting :) Oh, and it's so cute that you have pictures of buying your first house. I wish we had that. Anyway, miss you all. Give everyone a hug from me!

  4. Heather,

    Thanks for pointing this blog out to me! I love your writing style, we have a similar way of expressing ourselves. That being said, this whole story is a huge encouragement to me. Actually, I have been using, "Streams in the Desert," for the past year as my devotional. To know how faithful God has been; to see that he sees our dreams and still blesses us BEYOND what we long for, is so wonderful to remember. Thank you for being an example of a woman who seeks God's will and follows after his heart and has a true sense of gratitude towards his care. I hope someday I am able to visit and share my OWN story of God's faithfulness to the desires of my heart.

    Your house is BEAUTIFUL, I love dark wood kitchen, I love the flooring and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your fireplace. Enjoy this special time in the life of your family!